Maryland has a large number of federal workers who need security clearances because of its proximity to the federal government and the government’s need for workers who must handle sensitive and confidential information.
The granting or renewal of a security clearance depends on a number of factors related to the person’s character, including honesty, trustworthiness, loyalty, financial responsibility and reliability.
However, certain criminal convictions, such as a felony, the imposition of more than one year of jail time or a conviction based on sexual misconduct can be grounds for the denial of a Maryland security clearance or the revocation of an existing Maryland security clearance.
Sexual behavior is covered under Guideline D of the process for obtaining a clearance. While a Maryland sex offense involving a child will certainly create concerns, other sexual behaviors such as lifetime sex offender registration will also create issues.
The U.S. Department of State notes that “sexual behavior that involves a criminal offense, indicates a personality or emotional disorder, reflects lack of judgement or discretion, or which may subject the individual to undue influence or coercion, exploitation, or duress can raise questions about the person’s reliability, trustworthiness, ability to protect classified information.”
So, while a criminal conviction for sex-based conduct will likely be a disqualifying condition for obtaining a Maryland security clearance, mitigation of the concern is possible in certain circumstances, such as when:
- the behavior occurred before or during adolescence and there is no evidence of conduct of a similar nature after that time in the individual’s life;
- the sexual behavior happened so long ago, was so infrequent, or under such unusual circumstances, that it is unlikely to occur again and does not cast doubt on the individual’s current reliability, trustworthiness, or good judgment; or
- the behavior is no longer the result of coercion, exploitation, or duress.
An Ocean City criminal defense sex crimes lawyer can help you with your Ocean City sex crimes charge. An experienced Baltimore sex crimes attorney can go over the facts of your case to determine the best defense, including whether the Baltimore sex crime charges can be reduced or dismissed.
The consultation is free. The Law Office of Thomas J. Maronick is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Ocean City and surrounding areas, Baltimore city and Baltimore county legal needs. We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom.